Visit the Robert H. Jackson Center
Join us in envisioning a global society where the universal principals of equality, fairness, and justice prevail.
Located at 305 East Fourth Street, Jamestown, New York, the Robert H. Jackson Center office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30-4:30 and offers guided tours Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday tours are available by appointment during the winter, please check back in the spring for our summer hours. A $5 donation is suggested per person for tours; however, there is no fee for children under 18 years of age.
To schedule a tour outside of our regular hours, or to get more information on group rates, please contact us at (716) 483-6646 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Center is closed on the following holidays:
New Year’s Day
Fourth of July
Day after Thanksgiving
Christmas Eve Day
New Years Eve Day
The Robert H. Jackson Center may be rented for meetings, training, educational programs and other similar activities deemed appropriate by the Robert H. Jackson Center. The building may not be used for political or religious purposes. Facilities available to rent include two conference rooms (12-25 seats), banquet room (150 seats), and auditorium (180 seats). As part of the rental, we can provide a variety of computer and audio/visual equipment for your meetings.
Alonzo Kent Mansion
The Robert H. Jackson Center, founded in 2001, is located in Jackson’s home town of Jamestown, New York. It is housed in the historic Alonzo Kent mansion and former Masonic lodge, which was rehabilitated to accommodate administrative offices, a museum, exhibit space, and meeting and programming facilities.
The Alonzo Kent mansion was built in 1859-60 by Alonzo Kent, a wealthy businessman and president of the former First National Bank of Jamestown. The style chosen for this house was Italianate, which was just beginning to grow in popularity the decade prior to the Civil War. Mr. Kent and his family lived in this home until his death in 1888. After Alonzo Kent died the mansion was purchased by Rose Elena Wetmore Kent, the wife of Alba M. Kent, who was a nephew of Alonzo. The home was extensively remodeled at this time, and became a center of social activity in Jamestown. Rose Kent was the mother of Charles D. Wetmore, who was a member of the firm of New York architects, Warner & Wetmore. The Kent family owned the home until 1920, when they sold it to the Scottish Rite Consistory for $50,000. Today the Jackson Center honors the history of the Alonzo Kent Mansion by highlighting several rooms in the Mansion.
Ulysses S Grant Room
The dining room is dedicated to President Grant who visited Jamestown on August 14, 1875. President Grant’s visit was orchestrated by the Rev. John H. Vincent, co-founder of Chautauqua Institution, who invited Grant to speak in hopes of attracting more visitors to the Institution’s grounds. President Grant arrived by train and traveled by a dozen carriages to Mr. Kent’s house. The lunch that was served at the Kent Mansion consisted of twelve courses, and the guest list included former Governor Reuben Eaton Fenton, a native and resident of Jamestown. After lunch, President Grant and Alonzo Kent rode together to the Jamestown boat landing, where a 55-foot long steamer named “Josie Belle” headed a grand procession of steamboats up Chautauqua Lake to the Chautauqua Institution. Over 12,000 eager people awaited the President’s arrival on the Chautauqua Institution grounds, cheering and shouting in anticipation.
Additionally, the Kent family’s formal parlor or drawing room is showcased in the mansion, refurbished by local donors Stanley and Sarita Weeks. Visitors can view the ornate mirrors, chandelier and Italian marble fireplace in the parlor. The room is furnished in the French style of Louis XV.
Carl Cappa Theater
Replacing the Kent family’s stable and carriage house, the Scottish Rite constructed an Auditorium with 200 theatre seats to host Masonic ceremonies and degree work. Today, the auditorium is named after one of the original benefactors of the Jackson Center, Carl M. Cappa. Mr. Cappa’s “hero”, Robert H. Jackson, served as a model for his leadership, his integrity, his strong feelings of fairness and justice for every man, woman and child, and his love of community.
Archives & Exhibit Room
The Robert H. Jackson Center archives is a repository of documents and artifacts related to the life and ideas of Justice Jackson. The Center preserves collections of historical photographs, sound and video recordings, books and periodicals, and oral histories.
The Center has an exhibit gallery that rotates displays throughout the year. Currently on display are Destinies of Democracy: Photographs from the Farm Security Administration (FSA) Collection, 1935-1943 and Keep The Balance: Students Explore Justice. Photographers hired by the FSA during 1935-1943 chronicled the conditions of poor farmers with the goal of “introducing America to Americans.” The exhibit displays images taken by some of the eleven photographers selected to work on this project.
The Keep The Balance exhibit is the result of the work of Jackson Center Teacher Fellow Kiersten Hansen who developed a special curriculum for 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade students with the Jackson Center staff. Ms. Hansen, who teaches at Jamestown’s Elementary school, created the curriculum, in part, to teach what the scales of justice represent and the importance of balance and equality in society.